2 March 2024

Christians offered Indigenous Voice advocacy training

Safina Stewart and Bianca Manning will be among the speakers at upcoming Common Grace training sessions. Picture: supplied.

Jenan Taylor

11 April 2023

A Christian justice organisation says supporting the Yes campaign is about doing what God wants.

Common Grace national director Gershon Nimbalker said advocating for an Indigenous voice to parliament was an effort to swing Australia and the whole world toward the justice and goodness that God wants for it.

Mr Nimbalker said there were three aspects to Australian history, comprising Indigenous people, the British colonists and immigrant Australia.

“Australians have been wrestling with that, and Christians have an imperative to be people of reconciliation and help reconcile the three identities,” Mr Nimbalker said.

It comes as Common Grace gets set to hold in-person training sessions as part of its Listen to the Heart campaign.

Read more: People of faith invited to listen, learn Indigenous perspectives of Voice

Mr Nimbalker said the training sessions were about encouraging Christians to recognise the importance of the moment that Australia was in and the context of the Voice vote.

He said they aimed to help people feel inspired to act in a meaningful way, feel mobilised to make a difference and to feel that they could commit to taking that action.

Participants would be enabled to engage with their communities, churches, church-based events, colleagues and peers through resources including speakers at the sessions and post training speaking notes and instructional materials, Mr Nimbalker said.

He said it didn’t matter whether participants were church leaders and that the training was for anyone who could see themselves ready to advocate for Indigenous justice.

Common Grace communications coordinator Monique Hughes said the organisation had held online gatherings but that the in-person sessions were the next step in helping people to have conversations in the community.

Read more: A Voice to Parliament is just a first step towards healing

Ms Hughes said the training would be recorded for those unable to make the in-person events.

She said the Yes vote was an important step towards Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander justice, but the vote wouldn’t necessarily mean that the journey would end.

“We want people to know that there’s much more we can all be doing,” Ms Hughes said.

The Melbourne in-person training session will take place on 6 May at St Barnabas, Balwyn. Speakers will include Wuthithi and Mabuiag Island woman Safina Stewart, Gomeroi woman Bianca Manning and other Aboriginal Christian leaders.

For further information, visit listentotheheart.org.au/melbourne_training_event

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